10 ways to avoid being hacked

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Technically, everything that is connected to the internet can be hacked and it is not just high profile individuals or large companies that are at risk from hackers and cyber criminals.

Our reliance on the internet and with ransomware attacks and hacking at an all time high, it has never been so important to make sure you stay safe online and keep your online accounts and data secure.

Here are ten ways to avoid being hacked:

1. Emails

A lot of hackers strike by simply using malicious emails and if you receive an email from someone you don’t recognise it always pays to be naturally suspicious. You can select “show original” and this will show you the source of the email. You can then do a little bit of research to see if everything stacks up. If you are still suspicious delete it without opening.

2. Public WiFi

Public WiFi is everywhere these days and on the most part is very useful however never access sites that require you to disclose private information. Online banking is an obvious example but avoiding email and social media should also be recommended. Hackers may be actively cloning your data whilst you browse so don’t give too much away.

3. Passwords

We keep saying it but make you passwords as secure as possible. You can use programs that provide you with an “advance password” to make them even stronger and NEVER write them down. We assume that hacking is always done online but just simply reading a password may make you more vulnerable.

4. Links

Links can be very dangerous. Make sure that the link takes you to where it says it is taking you. You can find out by simply hovering you mouse over the link and this should tell you the destination. If you don’t recognise it, don’t click on it. A tool such as URL X Ray can also help.

5. Attachments

It a similar way to the problem with links. Do you know what the attachment is and were you expecting it? If it comes from someone you know did anything else in the message seem suspicious. As with emails and links, if in doubt – don’t click.

6. Clouds

It may sound obvious but if you don’t want people to know something then don’t share it! This includes clouds but it doesn’t mean that you should never use them but think about what you store in them. Don’t store anything sensitive or anything that could cause damage if stolen or lost.

7. Two-Factor Authentication

As more and more companies are getting hacked the more they look to new methods of securing data and information. Two-factor authentication which requires users to enter their password, as well as confirm their account by entering a passcode sent via SMS, one of the best and easiest ways of securing your account from hackers. More companies are making it standard for logging in. Google recently introduced a new type of two step authentication called Google Prompt, which aims to make the process of authentication less time consuming.

8. Operating System

Using the latest Operating System (OS) will also help to reduce the risk of being hacked. The latest OS will have the most modern security checks already in place. This may mean that the threat gets intercepted long before it reaches your device.

9. Firewalls

Install Firewalls and keep them updated. Major companies such as Kaspersky spend millions of dollars on producing these programs to make you more secure so it is worth paying to get the best that is available.

10. Virus Checkers

As in the case with Firewalls, keep your virus checker up to date and pay for something that is from a reputable firm. Paying a little now could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

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